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(Happy Throwback Thursday, everyone! This article originally ran on July 3, 2015. Its sentiments are as valid to me today as they were back then.)

Here’s today’s neologism, and it’s a great one: “pre-solvent.” It comes from a comment on one a Money Talks News article called “The real reason Americans struggle to save.”

The article cited a couple of surveys that put the fault not in our stars, but in our cards: “Lifestyle spending” and “lack of financial discipline” kept anywhere from 44 to 71 percent of respondents living paycheck to paycheck and/or prevented them from achieving financial goals.

I’d like to point out that underemployment, lack of education and impossible-to-pay medical bills can also hinder the ability to save. But I agree that the “buy now, figure out how to pay for it later” attitude is definitely nudging some folks toward insolvency.

Which brings us to pre-solvency. A commenter named “Y2K Jillian” writes that she and her husband lived paycheck to paycheck for years and loathed the lifestyle. But change happened.

How? “Gradually, gradually.” Which is how I’d bet it happens for a lot of people.

 


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Women are earning more and taking more responsibility for managing money, but a majority of us aren’t confident about our choices.

According to the Allianz Women, Money and Power Study, six in 10 (61 percent) women wish they had more confidence in their financial choices. Almost two-thirds (63 percent) wish they knew more about investing and financial planning.

Personal finance blogger Melanie Lockert wants to help. Or, rather, she wants to encourage women to help themselves. The upcoming Lola Retreat will be a place where women can talk openly about money: how to earn it, save it, invest it and enjoy it.

 


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th-1More than half of U.S. consumers (mistakenly) believe that carrying credit card balances will help improve their credit scores.

It won’t. It won’t. It won’t!

Yet according to the 2016 Capital One Credit Confidence Study, 52 percent of us still think it will. The study also mentioned a new (to me) credit score myth, one that’s believed by about the same number of people.

 


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thI’m heading to Phoenix for the holidays. Wanna have coffee?

Usually I try to organize a meet-up whenever I visit my daughter. This time around I plan two such get-togethers:

Wednesday, Dec. 28, from 9:30 a.m. to noon

Saturday, Dec. 31, from noon to 3 p.m.

(Note: Originally I’d said “9 a.m. to noon.” But that was before I realized/remembered that the restaurant doesn’t open until half an hour after that. D’oh!)

Yep, both times can be awkward: the Wednesday one because working folk may not be able to make it, and the Saturday one because New Year’s Eve. Still, I can offer two good reasons to be there.

 


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thMy pay-as-you-go flip phone regularly receives calls from numbers I don’t recognize. For a while I’d pick up any that began with 206 or 425; having lived in Seattle for eight years I figured it might be an old acquaintance or former classmate.

Each time, though, it was a robonotification about a great deal on a credit card, vacation or something else I didn’t need. Nowadays I don’t pick up, and guess what? Those unknown callers never leave messages!

I’m not alone in feeling pestered. Phone-spam victims received an average of 118 sales-pitchy or downright fraudulent calls this year, according to a new study from Hiya, a free caller ID/call-blocker app.

And there’s no place like your phone for holiday fraud. Seasonal scams are up by 113 percent over last year, the study notes.

Among them:

 


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